Brexit’s Next Act: The Agenda for the Coming U.K.-EU Trade Talks

(Bloomberg) --

Representatives from the U.K. and European Union will sit down in Brussels on Monday to start negotiations over Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.

At stake is a deal that would allow tariff and quota-free trade in goods between the two sides -- but to get there, Britain and the EU will have to resolve their differences over a range of issues, including state aid, fishing rights and the writ of the European Court of Justice.

Documents published on Friday afternoon set out how those negotiations will work. Here are the key points:

Led by the EU’s Michel Barnier and the U.K.’s David Frost, the two sides will hold five rounds of talks between March and May. The first will start on March 2 in Brussels. The following round will be held in London.

RoundStart dateEnd dateLocation
1March 2March 5Brussels
2March 18March 20London
3April 6April 8Brussels
4April 27April 30London
5May 13May 16Brussels

Concurrently, 11 negotiating groups will focus on specific policy areas. They are:

  • Trade in Goods
  • Trade in Services and Investment and other issues
  • Level Playing Field for open and fair competition
  • Transport
  • Energy and Civil Nuclear Cooperation
  • Fisheries
  • Mobility and Social Security Coordination
  • Law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
  • Thematic Cooperation
  • Participation in Union Programs
  • Horizontal arrangements and governance

Britain has opted to exclude negotiations on security and defense cooperation, according to a footnote at the end of the document.

Negotiations will take place in English, and only in French “in duly justified circumstances” -- in which case, the EU will cover the cost of translation.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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